2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Patrick Reed vs. Jon Rahm: Betting With Peyton


Harry Trump/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed, Jon Rahm

“Thanks for the info, now let’s go watch some golf – this thing’s gonna get good.”

It took you a few seconds to comprehend what the NFL commissioner had just suggested so casually. In fact, you were still standing in the same spot when Goodell and Manning were already eight paces ahead, each of them turning around and imploring you to catch up so you all wouldn’t miss anything.

Years ago, you’d met Reggie Jackson, post-playing career, on the field before a game at Yankee Stadium. He was a friend of a mutual friend and the two of you started talking. Next thing you knew, the grounds crew was clearing off the field for the game to start and you assumed you’d head for your seat in the upper deck. Instead, Reggie put his arm around your shoulder and said, “Let’s go grab some dinner.” You wound up watching the entire game with him from the owner’s suite, feasting on shrimp cocktail and martinis for nine innings.

Until now, you’d always thought that would be your greatest celebrity athlete story, but you’re quickly realizing it was about to be bumped into a faraway second place.

As you walked toward the second hole with Goodell and Manning, the quarterback finishes his beer and tosses his cup in a nearby trash can. Not only does another full cup just – poof – mysteriously appear in his hand, so does a second one that he hands to you without warning. Really, it’s like he plucked ‘em off a tree or something. They just showed up. Membership has its privileges.

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“So, who you got today?” Manning asks, not just to make conversation, it seems, but because he genuinely wants to know.

You explain the initial bet on Rahm, then the live bet, which helps to explain why you have a phone in your pocket and why you were trying to discreetly look at it minutes earlier.

He waves off the explanation and audibles back to the leaderboard without as much as an “Omaha!” call.

“I’ve got Reed today,” Manning offers. “That’s why I’m walking with these guys. Well, that and I’m keeping the commish company. They thought there might be some folks yelling bad stuff at Pat, and there’s no better disciplinarian here than Rog.”

Listening in on your conversation, Goodell adds, “Yeah, I was a real disciplinarian when I saw that phone in your pocket.”

The three of you continue to sip your beers and walk amongst gallery, everybody staring at the two of them, but with no phones, those stares can’t turn into a barrage of cell phone pictures.

Getting back to the topic at hand, Manning says, “Let’s have a little action. I’ve got Pat, you’ve got Jonny. We can keep it friendly, so only a grand, cool?”

That’s a little out of your usual price range, but anything for a good story.

Up ahead, there’s a mild cheer as Reed pours in a birdie putt and pumps his fist. You look at Manning and he merely winks back, then keeps walking through the pines.

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